Arts: Vision Statement
Nether Alderley Primary School believes that the arts should be central to a well-rounded education. We provide a range of integrated experiences, carefully planned to fit in with topics, which give a dynamic focus for the pupils’ learning. We integrate the arts into the teaching of other subjects and find that this not only enhances pupils’ enjoyment but leads to better outcomes for all. Outside school hours, there are several clubs running for all year groups – from pottery to origami there is something for everyone! We listen to our students and we adapt and change our provision according to what they want. One forum for pupil voice is the student council which meets every half-term.
As part of the Fallibroome Arts Network, Nether Alderley Primary School works in close alliance with other schools in the area, as well as local artists and galleries. This enables us to offer children a range of experiences and opportunities particularly as part of our yearly ‘Arts Week’. Planning is shared among partner schools and a broad theme is chosen which gives scope for personalisation. The culmination of this week’s creativity is celebrated in the Performance Hall at Fallibroome.
Via the RE:Play project, children are loaned a string instrument for the year and they take part in weekly lessons at the Fallibroome Academy. We also offer a wealth of chances for children to learn a musical instrument. Peripatetic music teachers teach piano, guitar, drums and flute during school time. Pupils celebrate their talents through Music Concerts where soloists and groups perform songs and pieces.
Throughout the school calendar, pupils are given the opportunity to perform in a variety of contexts for different purposes: from harvest celebrations, to the KS1 nativity and the KS2 end of year play. We also take pride in showcasing our concerts in the community; our Christmas service at St Mary’s church is a highlight of the year, with the school orchestra performing and opportunities for solo and group singing. We also take part in raising money for charity such as our annual singing of Christmas Carols at Handforth Dean. The performing arts and related subjects acts as a catalyst for cultural development and are a point at which different cultures meet and recognize one another’s worth and diversity. Children have explored other cultures through the performing arts, Class 4 have performed samba drumming at Gawsworth Hall and Class 3 performed a short rhyming drama of the traditional Japanese folktale Momotaro.
Another way we work in partnership with the local community to offer a range of activities as part of our Thursday clubs. Children are split into mixed-age groups of 8-10 and do things such as; sewing, eco craft, creating lego movies using iPads and learning Japanese. We also emphasise inclusive involvement, which helps students acquire an important sense of belonging as well as building their self-confidence and strengthening relationships across the school.
The arts have the power to inspire, inform, stimulate, challenge and entertain. We believe that it is important to open up the world of theatre to the children and we take them to see a high-quality production every year, usually at the New Vic in Staffordshire. We are thankful to the PTA which provides funding for this trip which enables every child in the school to visit the theatre.
Dance is an aspect of the arts which we have shown excellence in with pupils expressing pride delight in their performances on stage at Fallibroome. We have also worked with The Education Group, class 3’s tango dance this year was fantastic and unearthed some hidden talent. We have also worked with the Manchester Arts Education Initiative on an orishas dance and drama performance. After dancing and acting out the story the powerful message of the teacher’s own grandmother’s experience of slavery really hit home and gave them a deeper understanding of people’s suffering. Our ‘dance ambassadors’ have been given several opportunities this year such as teaching a dance they have learned to the other pupils.
Another key feature of Nether Alderley’s arts provision is our use and embrace of new technologies. Our class set of iPads has provided the pupils with rich experiences and opened up creativity in new ways for example using GarageBand to produce an original song. A short compilation film of leavers’ memories of their time at school was also created using MovieMaker. Our forward thinking staff are always looking for new opportunities to develop the children’s learning though arts and technology.
At Nether Alderley we have seen how arts activities help develop the capacity to formulate and communicate ideas and feelings; they enhance perceptual skills through responding, developing and evaluating, and physical skills through control and use of movement. Involvement in the arts helps to foster a positive attitude among students by developing a wide range of qualities such as cooperation, enthusiasm, passion, inspiration, tenacity and ambition.